The Car, Plane, Taxi, Resort and First Impressions.
We arrived at Gatwick just before midnight which was almost deserted apart from the middle-aged couple in front of us at the car rental desk. We didn’t have much choice in who to use because at that time there is only one desk open and although the man was good he was painfully slow. It took us until 1.30 am to actually leave the rental car park. One of the reasons we had to collect an upgraded automatic (at no extra charge yippee!) from bay 15. Despite a thorough search we couldn’t find bay 15, perhaps he said 50 – no that was empty. Back inside, we waited for a break in conversation as the queue was now quite long and double checked what he said. It turns out the markers have different numbers on each side and bay 15 (which faced a wall) was actually bay 33 on the car side. Ah well off at last only to return within 12 hours.
For short-haul I always use budget airlines, people find them frustrating but for the price I liken to a bus getting me from A to B. On this break we used Easyjet four times which only went to highlight certain problems. I found it ludicrous that we had been issued seat numbers yet come boarding there was a mad scramble. Did nobody think to load by numbers so stopping the blockage of people putting their bags in the overhead lockers. Baggage – now there’s a thing! Have Easyjet squeezed in a couple of extra rows of seats? On ALL our flights there was not enough room in the lockers for everyone’s hand baggage. Stewards moved things around, people were told to put rucksacks and coats between their feet – it was chaos especially when it came to getting off and peoples’ bags were not where they put them.
I don’t know if I am confusing Easyjet with Ryanair but I thought the seats didn’t recline. Unfortunately on 3 of our 4 flights I sat behind the fat lass or loud lad who even before take off flung their seat back and almost whacked me in the face. At one point I had to ask that the seat be put upright as I couldn’t open my book, not a huge tome just a Val McDermid paperback, so you can imagine how close the seats are these days.
Arriving at Budapest airport we went straight to the Főtaxi box which is outside arrivals. I had read Budapest taxis could charge whatever they like, didn’t have to be licensed and could just stick a sign on their roof and be ready to go, so having a recommended name was comforting. Passengers of Főtaxi receive a ticket stating the maximum fare. When you get in the taxi the meter is on and if the amount upon arrival is lower than the sum officially given for the zone, you need only pay this amount. Our rate was 6500HUF and the driver who looked like Steve Schirripa from the Sopranos huffed and puffed when he saw where we were going.
Our journey took an hour and we later found that it is normally around 9000HUF so it was understandable he wasn’t happy. But I did give him a 500HUF tip which sounds an awful lot of money!!
We were staying at the Petneházy Resort in a log cabin reminiscent of those in the forests of Sweden or at least like they looked in the film “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. The food in the restaurant was good at least the boys said so on the first night while we girls stayed at home to inspect our new surroundings and decided what we would do for the rest of the week.
The cottage had been furnished with comfort in mind although there were four of us; we had two bedrooms and if need be a sofa bed. There was a private sauna off the bathroom, a small kitchen, big terrace and wonderful views! I was pleased with our choice and if we had wanted to stay onsite there was an indoor swimming pool, sauna, beauty and massage parlour, the possibility to rent bicycles, play tennis or table tennis, a golf driving range and horse riding all within the grounds.
Page 2 …. Getting our bearings